Steelers vs. Patriots: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Pittsburgh

Dan Snyder@@dsnyder34Correspondent INovember 3, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 27:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands on the sideline during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on October 27, 2013 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Another game, another loss for a Pittsburgh Steelers team that's proving to be much, much more average than anyone could have expected.

This afternoon, the Patriots hung seven touchdowns and 55 points on the team. That number is the most against the Steelers in the team's 81-year history. It was also a game where the Steelers seemingly quit down the stretch. 

This has certainly been a very uncharacteristic Steelers team in 2013, and now, they're an uncharacteristic 2-6. 



Pittsburgh: 31

New England: 55

Pittsburgh Steelers Game Grades
Positional Unit1st Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseB-B+
Run OffenseDC+
Run DefenseCF
Pass DefenseFF
Special TeamsBB-
@ New England, Week 9

Final Analysis


Pass Offense: Looking at the numbers, it was a pretty solid day passing for the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger hit his receivers when he had time and threw for four scores in Foxborough. But the operative phrase there is “when he had time.” The Steelers line continues to be a disaster.

Roethlisberger finished the day with 400 yards and four scores through the air to go along with three turnovers. Jerricho Cotchery was a lone bright spot, reeling in three touchdown passes.  

Run Offense: It was a much better second half for the ground attack of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but when the team fell behind, the run had to be abandoned. Le’Veon Bell has shown a ton of promise for this Steelers team, carrying 15 times for 70 yards. As a team, Pittsburgh trudged totaled 104 yards on the ground.

Run Defense: The second half was a bona fide disaster for the Steelers run defense. Patriots running back Steven Ridley gashed Pittsburgh for 115 yards and two scores, while New England gained 198 yards on the ground this afternoon. It was an atrocious effort by the defense.   

Pass Defense: As bad as the Steelers first-half pass defense was, it only got worse. Tom Brady had his way with the Pittsburgh secondary all afternoon, totaling 432 pass yards and four touchdowns.

New England had three receivers with over 100 receiving yards and scored 55 points, the most ever against a Pittsburgh Steelers team.

This was as pathetic as pathetic gets. Not only couldn’t the Steelers stop New England at any point in this game, they visibly quit down the stretch. It’s time for the Steelers to make changes all over the field.

Special Teams: The only thing the Steelers special teams did wrong was give up a big return to Julian Edelman while the game was close. Antonio Brown had a big return of his own while Mat McBriar struggled in his debut.

Coaching: You can’t coach heart, and that was what the Pittsburgh Steelers were lacking today. At the same time, the defensive game plan Dick LeBeau drew up was lacking to say the least. The Steelers didn’t execute at all on that side of the ball and gave up 55 points and seven touchdowns.

Head coach Mike Tomlin has to be on the hot seat following this horrendous performance. Either he needs to make some changes or the front office will.

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 03:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks at an image on the sideline after losing posession on fourth down against the New England Patriots in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro,
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images


First-Half Analysis 

Pass Offense: Pittsburgh’s passing attack had a lot of issues early, including two turnovers in their first five plays. They recovered nicely at the end of the half and eventually found the end zone for Ben Roethlisberger’s 200th career touchdown pass.

After two quarters, Roethlisberger is 11-for-15 with 173 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Antonio Brown is the Steelers' leading receiver, with three receptions for 50 yards and a score.

Run Offense: The Steelers inept run game has made the Patriots 31st-ranked run defense look pretty good today. Le’Veon Bell has once again struggled to find running room and, aside from a 30-yard tear by Jonathan Dwyer, it’s been a slow day for Pittsburgh.

Bell has rushed 12 times for 28 yards in the first half.

Run Defense: It's been an average day for the Steelers' run defense against the Patriots so far. They’ve done a nice job of keeping Stevan Ridley in check, but Brandon Bolden has ripped them for some nice gains.

Pass Defense: Pathetic.

There’s no better word to describe the Pittsburgh Steelers pass defense in this game. They’ve barely gotten any pressure on Tom Brady and that’s led to a huge day for the three-time Super Bowl champ. Rob Gronkowski has also ripped Pittsburgh for 119 yards and a score in the half.

Pittsburgh better make some adjustments for the second half or it’s going to be a long day.  

Special Teams: There's not much to talk about concerning the Steelers special teams unit. They haven’t made any plays, but nothing’s gone wrong.

Coaching: It’s been a pretty pathetic first-half effort by the entire Steelers coaching staff in New England. On offense, Todd Haley continues to call a very poor game (putting it politely). They have been predictable and ineffective.

Defensively, the staff has made no adjustments to stop Gronkowski. Receivers have been open for Brady all afternoon as he’s gashed Pittsburgh for 230 yards in the first half. They have also had substitution problems. 


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